There's a school of thought that what Brad has is, and should be treated as, primarily a language disorder. I haven't blogged much, if at all, about speech therapy and communication issues. The reason: I regard Brad's speech delay as a symptom of something else. Of course I've blogged about that "other thing," whatever it is, ad nauseum.
But some one could probably present a similar case for the motor symptoms. That is, one might similarly argue that the motor impairments and hypotonia are just a symptom of something else, so why focus on those discrete symptoms?
Two thoughts on this:
1) I don't regard DCD as an isolated motor deficit. While the DSM-IV description of DCD points in that direction, in common parlance the alternate term "dyspraxia" is understood to engender a whole host of traits from speech delay to social impairment to disorganization of thought. And as I blogged, DCD is a set which overlaps with autistic spectrum disorders.
2) I've observed many therapy sessions, including speech, occupational therapy, developmental therapy and floortime. Hands down, without question, the most effective sessions by far have been the occupational therapy sessions. The occupational therapist, not the speech therapist, gets the most spontaneous speech from him. While I don't have proof of its effectiveness in a clinical sense, this mama believes that occupational therapy implicates some kind of mind/body connection.
Because the occupational therapy (OT) visits were so successful, the developmental therapist(DT) did a co-visit so that she could observe the OT's technique, and carry it over in her own sessions. And lo and behold it made all of the difference. For example, at first the developmental therapist would sit on the floor with Brad and play with him, and try to get him out of rigid routines, and to use imagination, etc. It just didn't work. I mean they played, but Brad mostly phoned it in, and veered into his comfort zone, i.e. blocks. After the co-visit, she started interjecting movement breaks into the play. It was simple: she put the wooden puzzle pieces on one side of the room and the puzzle on another. Voila! Such a small thing made such a big difference.
Brad's occupational therapist explained that it's tied to his arousal level. As I blogged, Brad presents as a sensory disregarder - "ho hum", difficult to stimulate and unmotivated to move. If Brad were a car, his idle would be on low. Seriously, by my count, he's had less than five full blown tantrums in his entire life and he's never had what can be described as a "meltdown." As I've blogged before, he has never once stood up in his crib, without prompting and assistance.
Brad's occupational therapist showed me that getting him to move increases his arousal level. And, in turn, when his arousal level is higher, so too is his level of engagement and spontaneous speech. So to make a long story long, this is why I don't blog about speech therapy. I regard the speech as intrinsically tied to sensory processing and arousal. To blog about communication without the other stuff doesn't make sense. To me, anyway.
Ever wonder why autism diagnosis shows a positive correlation to rainfall? I have a theory: these kids aren't outside much and therefore aren't moving enough. Moving the body forces the left and right hemispheres of the brain to talk to each other, which, in turn, promotes healthy neurological development in all respects. Just sayin. It's possible.